I decided that this post would be appropriate for the early days of October. Whether you're a child, a teenager, you're simply young at heart, or if you know someone trick or tricking, this post is for you. A lot of people wonder if it's okay to take their dog trick or treating. This post will give you some logical answers. Later this month, I'll be doing a safety post for pets that are staying at home on Halloween, so stay tuned for that!
Last year, I went trick or treating with Chris. He only lived with me for two weeks at the time. We were both dressed up as hot dogs, and it was a lot of fun. Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help determine whether or not you should take your dog trick or treating with the rest of the family.
What is your dog's personality like?
If you're dog is overwhelmed by crowds, lots of sounds, and is generally a vulnerable and insecure dog, it's best to leave him at home. Don't be surprised if kids in masks and costumes run up to your dog. That's something that might spook some dogs and could cause them to react badly! However, if your dog is social and does well in busy situations, than your dog might be a great trick or treating companion.
Is your dog well trained?
If you're trick or treating with your dog, it's important that he's well behaved and knows basic commands. Sit, stay, and leave it I think are the three most important commands when out and about with your dog.
Your dog doesn't need to wear a costume to go trick or treating with the family, but who doesn't love a dog dressed up in an adorable little outfit? Christmas' hot dog costume feels just like a jacket to him, so he enjoys wearing it on cold days and it doesn't bother him at all. He was a big hit on Halloween! A couple weeks before Halloween, I got him used to wearing the outfit and I would have him wear it during training sessions, on casual walks, and when he slept until wearing the hot dog outfit was normal for him. When I first introduced him to it, he picked it up in his mouth and ran around the house with it!
Know when to draw the line!
Some dogs might not last a whole night of trick of treating. If your dog seems tired or stressed in the middle of the trick or treating excursion, take him home. As much as you'd love to be flanked by a costume sporting canine the entire night, you have to know what's best for your dog.
Make sure your dog has a properly fitting collar and leash. Even if you're walking your dog with a harness and even if your dog is wearing a costume, he still should be wearing a collar with up to date identification tags. I also recommend that you have your dog microchipped if he isn't already. Chris has an up to date microchip, along with ID tags, so I know he's good to go!
My trick or treating experience with Christmas...
Christmas did fantastic! He was attentive to me and listened for commands. He enjoyed lots of head scratches. Every single step of the way, it was inevitable to hear "aww" or "a hot dog" or "look at that dog! He's dressed like a hot dog!". One person whose house that we trick or treated at gave Chris a Milk Bone treat when he showed off one of his tricks. Chris had no problem walking around the neighborhood and making old and new friends. He even got to meet a couple of friendly dogs along the way.
It takes a special kind of dog to be okay with trick or treating, and if you think your dog fits the description, than you can make this Halloween more fun and memorable by taking your dog along. After all, they're a member of the family too!
How will your dogs be enjoying the Howloween festivities?